A brand new car is always a delight to take for a spin whether just to show it up or to revel in its prowess. To prolong this worry-free period, you might have to take it easy.
Everyone knows about the break-in period that ends when you cover about 1000 – 1500 km. Just to be certain, don’t forget to ask the dealer about it to avoid problems in the future. And read up on things you can do to ensure your car stays in top condition.
No changing gears at the Red Line
A gear shift could ease the load on the engine when done properly. Shifting at the redline, on the other hand, does the opposite and might even put too much strain on the transmission. The protection your new car gets from the honing and lapping process during manufacture won’t be enough to prevent damage to the gearbox if you are changing at the red line.
Too early for Cruise Control
Cruise control is a fantastic feature to have especially for those long drives. But is it for your brand new car? You might think yes, but as previously mentioned, the break-in period is important and it’s definitely not ideal to use cruise control until you have reached the 1500km milestone.
Mind the distance
If you’re thinking about a 5 kilometer drive or less, it’s best to not use your brand new car. Driving very short distances does not allow the car to warm up properly which can work toward causing problems with the engine.
Try to take a different vehicle if you have the option or take your car for a longer drive before stopping and turning off the engine.
Skipping the Warm Up
It’s important to know what exactly happens to the engine when this process is skipped. A certain amount of temperature has to be reached before some parts can perform smoothly. So, every time the engine is run cold, some parts are overworked and it can lead to warpage or an overheated engine.
A minute of warming up the car doesn’t mean the end of the world. It’s a good opportunity to listen to the engine and check that everything sounds normal.
It may seem appealing to test the new car’s limit by towing. After all, it’s hard to imagine what harm it can do to something that needs a break-in. But what it actually does is push the engine so that it is overworked.
This doesn’t mean you can never use the car for towing. Towing can be done safely once you are past the magic 1500km break-in period.
Waiting until your fuel tank is empty
Throughout the life of your car it is recommended to re-fuel before your fuel gauge reaches under 1/4 of a tank. The fuel acts as a coolant for the pump, so if you let your tank run down to empty the pump can get too hot.
This can prematurely wear out your fuel pump and may eventually cause it to fail.
The Right Time to Change Oil
Drivers would normally change the oil of a new car after 5000 kilometers or 3 months, whichever comes first. If you are unsure, it is a good idea to bite the bullet and ask a trusted mechanic.